When it comes to dating someone you met online, the main problem here is moving from “virtual” communication to “live” one. Such fears, as a rule, are normal for both men and women, but there’s nothing to be afraid of. The online dating stage should be passed as fast as possible. Many mistakenly think that chatting on a dating site for a couple of months will save them time. Unfortunately, online communication can’t allow you to learn everything about your companion and become closer to her/him. But it can complicate further communication, raising fears and doubts concerning the first date.
Why we are afraid of the first date
People are social and sociable by nature. Numerous studies have proved that communication is one of the basic human needs and people who lack this need are often depressed. On the other hand, interacting with strangers is not a part of our nature. In prehistoric times, when most of our social instincts and habits formed, any outsider was perceived as an alien and a source of the potential threat.
Therefore, the first date is always a small psychological stress. And if you have been in contact with a person for a long time online, and you liked her/him, the first meeting becomes even more difficult. This happens because the importance of this person to you has increased, you have built up certain expectations and now are afraid to do something wrong and mess everything up.
However, there’s absolutely nothing to fear. You either like each other or not; there are no other options. And very little actually depends on you. Anyway, we picked a couple of practical tips for you to look naturally on the first date.
How to overcome shyness on the first date
First, don’t try to seem self-assured if you’re not. In this case, you’ll start acting unnaturally. This will automatically be considered a weakness by your companion. If you’re really nervous, share your feelings and say that you’re worried. Thus, you’ll get additional points for frankness.
Just don’t overdo it. Don’t turn your nervousness into a topic for conversation. We know that people are willing to talk about themselves, rather than about others. And what exactly you shouldn’t do is try to analyze the date itself. Don’t say something like: “Well, you know, I rarely go on dates, and I worry a lot. So I read one interesting article about dates, and you know what?…”
Another mistake you should avoid is turning the first date into an interview and asking your partner too many questions. People don’t like to answer questions, especially if these questions are personal. Or if these are yes/no kinds of questions – no one likes interrogations. Moreover, no one is interested in your rich inner world (at least, during the first date). So leave your opinion on Buddhism and differences between the concepts of nirvana and samsara for another day.
It’s best to ask open-ended questions that suggest a detailed answer, for example: “What do you think about something (a new movie, cars, pickled cucumbers),” etc.
Act as if you have known each other for a long time
There is another method that helps overcome shyness on the first date. Try acting as if you have long been familiar with your companion, and try to use this person’s slang or parasite words as far as possible. It’s also better to ask one or two questions about your companion’s preferences. This will allow you to find a common sphere of interests, melt the ice in communication, and create a pleasant and friendly atmosphere.
Creating a pleasant atmosphere and the feeling that you know each other should be the purpose of the first date. And don’t forget that delaying the first meeting doesn’t help at all, but it’s more likely to become an additional obstacle.
Thanks to our friends from ukrainian dating culture for providing this article.